The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Tomatoes with green shoulders

Green shouldersGreen shoulders are the most purely cosmetic problem I'll discuss.  I have certain tomato varieties --- notably this yellow roma and our pear-shaped "black" tomato --- that ripen the bottom two thirds of the fruit quickly, but leave the top third green.  My solution, as usual, is to cut off the tops and give them to the chickens, but I was interested to discover there's a reason for the green shoulders.

Green shoulders form when tomatoes deal with high temperatures and strong sunlight during ripening.  The light and heat prompt the fruits to retain chlorophyll around the stem area, and the "shoulders" often become hard and leathery.

Unless you've pruned excessively and removed leaves that would normally shade your fruits, you haven't done anything to cause green shoulders.  And there's not much you can do to fix the "problem" either, short of ripening your tomatoes indoors or choosing a different variety.  This is definitely one of those times I'm glad not to be a market gardener whose customers demand blemish-free fruit.

Learn tricks to turn your invention into a cash cow with Microbusiness Independence.

This post is part of our Minor Tomato Ailments lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

Anna Hess's books
Want more in-depth information? Browse through our books.

Or explore more posts by date or by subject.

About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

Want to be notified when new comments are posted on this page? Click on the RSS button after you add a comment to subscribe to the comment feed, or simply check the box beside "email replies to me" while writing your comment.

profile counter myspace

Powered by Branchable Wiki Hosting.

Required disclosures:

As an Amazon Associate, I earn a few pennies every time you buy something using one of my affiliate links. Don't worry, though --- I only recommend products I thoroughly stand behind!

Also, this site has Google ads on it. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on a user's prior visits to a website. Google's use of advertising cookies enables it and its partners to serve ads to users based on their visit to various sites. You can opt out of personalized advertising by visiting this site.